Jesus predicts his death in the story and uses it as a teaching point. He uses the imagery of a kernel of wheat planted in the ground to describe what will happen to him. When it is buried and dies, it transforms into a new plant that creates many new kernels of wheat. Likewise, Jesus has to die in order to bring new life to those who follow Him. They will then in turn plant more seeds and bring many new people to saving faith in Jesus. The death of one kernel causes mass multiplication.
There is no doubt foreshadowing going on in this passage. As the people coming to see Jesus in this story are Greek. Jesus knows that after his death and resurrection his followers will preach the Gospel throughout the Greek world. One act in Jerusalem will change the world.
Our small (or great) sacrificial acts cause new life even if we don’t see it. How is God calling you to lay down your life for others this easter?